Under the Dome

Rucho says JFK could have founded the Tea Party today

Never one to shy away from controversy – if not outright provoke it – state Sen. Bob Rucho commemorated President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Twitter this way:

“JFK could have been the founder and leader of the Tea Party. The real democrat party has been hijacked.”

That unleashed a dust-up between the Mecklenburg County Republican and Democratic tweetsters, who responded along the lines of “Are you delusional?”

Rucho stood his ground with, “JFK believed in low taxes, hard work, personal freedom and achievement. You ought to try it.” He added in a third tweet that he wasn’t the only one who thought Kennedy was a conservative.

Rucho’s observations were preceded earlier in the week by a number of articles arguing that JFK was, to one degree or another, more conservative than he is remembered by those who mythologize his legacy.

“For them, his conservative dimension is an inconvenient truth,” George Will wrote.

The argument can be made and argued on several fronts, including interventionism, taxes and government’s role in helping business. But a Tea Partier?

Kennedy himself famously declared himself a liberal, saying he embraced the label if that meant caring about health-care, housing, education, employment and civil rights.